LIMA — As the spring weather breaks, local flower shops and nurseries are opening their doors and are eager to share their gardening tips and information about most popular plants and flowers with the community.
Kayla Dahlinghaus, owner of Kayla’s Greenhouse on 1745 Cole St., said her greenhouse is known for the geraniums which she said bloom all season long and do not need to be deadheaded.
Another popular plant is the purple and green Wandering Jew plant, which is tropical and can go days without watering. These plants are typically placed in hanging baskets to grow.
The green and white ice plants, which are apart of the succulent family, are also popular and are also placed in a mix planter where it usually spills over the sides.
This year she will be selling the New Guinea impatiens which have darker leaves with a tint of purple and can grow in both the shade and partly in the sun. They are able to absorb more sun and are bigger than regular inpatiens, according to Dahlinghaus.
She also sells Wave petunias and Tidal Wave petunias which she said have a stronger growth pattern than the Waves.
Super Petunias are also popular, especially the bubble gum — bright pink ones — and do not need to be deadheaded, according to Dahlinghaus.
“The Super Petunias are blowing out of the water,” she said. “People like no maintenance. They are really taking off and you see a lot of them in town hanging on porches.”
When it comes to starting a garden Dahlinghaus suggest that individuals make sure the soil is worked up by using a shovel to turn up the soil and loosen it. She also suggests spraying Roundup for weeds.
Before planting any flower one should read the label to find out the best time period to plant and it is also important to know what how much sun the plant can handle or need. There are plants the need a lot of sun, there are some that need shade, and there are some that can take the gentle morning sun but not the afternoon sun, according to Dahlinghaus.
Although it is officially spring time, Dahlinghaus suggests that people wait to plant bedding flowers until the frost-free date which would be sometime in mid-May.
However cool weather crops like lettuce, cabbage, onions and collard greens can be planted now, according to Dahlinghaus.
“You just have to be smart about it,” she said.
Even though May is the ideal month to plant, there are people who buy their plants early and store then inside the garage or in sun room in the meantime until the weather breaks.
Whether planters decide to buy plants now or later in the summer, the price is still the same. However, greenhouses, like Kayla’s, will open in April and close within June so it is important to get the plants before they run out. The busiest week of the year is Mother’s Day.
“It’s important that you get it right, because I grow everything here and once its gone, its gone,” said Dahlinghaus.
Jessica Rudasill, owner of Robert Brown’s Flower Shoppe on 8360 S. Woodlawn Ave, specializes in spring plants like bulb tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, Easter lilies, which can all be planted outside.
Those plants are sold in potted containers and once all of the booms die she suggests that planters to let the greens regenerate and continue to grow because they re-bloom the next year.
Tulips and hyacinth are the most popular flowers that are sold at her shop because of its amazing smell, according to Rudasill.
Besides outside flowers, Rudasill also sells indoor plants like peace lilies, pothos, hydrangeas, which she said can be planted outside as well, but its nice to keep indoors until the blooms die.
Robert Brown’s Flower Shoppe delivers blooming flowers for home deliveries, indoor plants are delivered to businesses and funeral homes, and blooming plants are also sent to nursing homes. High school students can also purchase corsages and boutonnieres for prom.
Rudasill suggests that new planters purchase pre-started plans from places like greenhouses, Lowe’s, or Menards.
“They are more hardier to use than to just planting a seed,” said Rudasill. “They have the tags in them that give you the information on how far and how deep you should plant them.”
Another important tip is to make sure that the plant receives plenty of water. When the plant is little and tinder she suggests that the plant is watered every few days.
She also suggests that new planters start off small so that it is easier to maintain. Her final tip is to get a soil sample to make sure that it is health and conducive for the plants to grow in.
Clark Spieles, owner of Blooms on 1077 Shawnee Road, specializes in plants like daffodils, tulips as well as shrubs, trees like magnolias and forsythias.
When planting flowering shrubs Spieles suggest that planters prune them after they flower and to try not to touch it again until the following year for best flowering results.
One mistake new planters make is over-watering their plants, according to Spieles. One one way to prevent over-watering is by reading the label. For an example, evergreens do well in drier conditions, while river birches and bald cypress do better in wet conditions.
“It’s nice to shop in a plant center that has knowledgeable staff to help you,” he said.
Spieles also suggests planters buy plants that are grown and originated in Ohio.
“A lot of the bigger companies get stuff shipped in from Tennessee and it’s warm down there and it’s warm up here so it has a better providence when its grown here,” said Spieles.
As for trees, he suggests that planters purchase container trees, like balled and burlap trees because they will not endure transplant shock. Also with trees plants should plant the tree at ground level to ensure that there is soil overlap.
To ensure the soil is perfect, planters should invest in getting a fertilizer test done or they could use a slow-release tablets, according to Spieles. However he warns planters to not use too much because overdoing it can cause damage.
Mulch is also important when planting because it helps with aesthetics, it helps retain moisture and helps keep weeds out, according to Spieles.
His final tip is to use weed preventives like Preen, but he also warns that it is not the cure-all for killing all types of weeds. He suggests that planters use post emergents after weeds emerge.
For more tips and to purchase various plants and trees ,individuals are encouraged to stop by Blooms on it’s opening day, April 2. Kayla’s Greenhouse will open on April 16 and Robert Brown’s Flower Shoppe is currently open Monday-Friday.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews